Sometimes, in learning technology, all the effort seems to be directed into figuring the ‘how’ without much thought about the ‘why’. When we started into the ALTO project one of the main aims was stated to be a process of cultural change in Art & Design educational practice at the UAL. That’s a pretty big ambition and begs the questions ‘whose culture? and ‘what changes?’ and behind that is the even wider question ‘why?’ – why do we want to create and release our learning resources for free to the world?
To try and answer this ‘why?’ question the project arranged a workshop in late Novenber 2010 that used a technique called Benefits Realisation, I had not come across this before and once I got over some of the strange terminology (it was bit managerialist for me) I found it a useful way of exploring the kind of benefits that involvement with OER might bring and then ‘backing up’ our thinking about what would have to change at the UAL in order for those benefits to be made permanent. The JISC Synthesis and Evaluation Project have got some interesting observations on this subject and we are hoping to write a couple of conference papers on the subject.
Below is a picture of the cards we used in the workshop – we clustered them into several themes. Out of this exercise has come a set of ideas and concepts fthat provide different rationales for being involved in OER. Links to these documents and a write up of the workshop will be appearing here soon.